Universal Studios with Young Children
This is a continuation of our trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You can see the first post here.
- Prepare Children for the Rides. I knew there was going to be a Dr. Seuss area, and Curious George area so I checked out some books from my library so they knew who the characters were that we were going to meet. They were so excited to ride The Cat in the Hat because they knew the story. Reading the books made the experience more real to them and they were really excited to reread the books when we got home.
- Utilize Child Swap. During our year at Universal Studios our son was between 18 months old and 2.5 years.He wasn’t tall enough to ride many rides. Infact he was only allowed to ride five rides: ET, Twirl and Hurl, storm force Accelerator,One Fish Two Fish, and the Carosel. The child swap was great at Universal Studios. I remember on the Gringott’s ride that there was a room right next to the unloading/loading of the ride for child swap. So, we were able to stay in line together until the end. The only reason I would recommend standing in line for the Gringott’s ride is walking through Gringott’s is so pretty. The attention to detail in the Harry Potter Worlds is amazing.
- Bring A Swim Suit/Change of Clothes/ Water Shoes. Just because my kids were not tall enough to ride all of the rides it doesn’t mean they didn’t have fun. If I was waiting for my husband to ride a ride or vice versa there were plenty of play areas to be in. The Curious George Splash Pad was a huge hit. They never wanted to leave. Since it’s so hot in Florida, when it was time to leave they just air dried for a little bit and I didn’t even need to bring a towel.
- Don’t Overlook Camp Jurassic. Since one of the rides in the area you HAVE To have child I don’t think I’ve ever been to Camp Jurassic. It is so fun, the rope playground is so impressive and I was having so much fun climbing through it all with my kids. This is a cell phone image.
- Bring Lots of Food. Isn’t this the key to taking children anywhere? I am always amazed at how much we eat while at a theme park (I feel like my kids eat triple the amount of food that we normally do at home). We try to eat while we are waiting in line (it kills time) and we also try to find spots that are not very crowded when we do stop and have a meal. Our family typically eats breakfast in our hotel, we bring lunch to the park and pretty much snack all day. I have been trying to bring things high in protein so their tummies will feel satisfied Lara Bars and Trail Mix have been quite popular.Then we go out for dinner. I wrote about the places we have eaten at Universal Studio’s here. What are your go to snack foods you bring to a theme park?
- Bring A Stroller. The stroller is for kids to nap in and sit in if they are too tired to walk. The stroller also acts like a donkey and carries all of the supplies needed for a day at a theme park. I bring a poncho (I bring one to cover my stroller as well) because it rains a lot in Florida. It keeps my stroller and stuff dry. It’s normally fast and furious then you are good for awhile. I bring hats, sunglasses and sunscreen for the kids as well because its hot in Florida.
- Visit the Play Areas and Shows. Since my son couldn’t ride a lot of rides we visited all the play areas. The Barney show has lots of singing and dancing. My kids had no clue who Barney was (didn’t check out a book on Barney) they loved the show. The best part is right after you see the show the area they lead you to next is like a mini children’s museum for younger children. It is SO fun. It’s air conditioned and aside from the ten minutes after the show it’s not very crowded at all. There is a Feval Goes West Area. That is more like a big playground (with a water ride). The kids enjoyed the animal show. We were nervous to take them to the Fear Factor show but it was great and family appropriate. We saw Shrek in 3 D. The minion ride says their is a height limit BUT you can ask for stationary seating and everyone can go on it then. These are just a few of the things which they did. We did have to separate from each other so the adults could go on all the ride. The kids were plenty busy at Universal Studios.
- Anticipate Going Slow and Have Fun. My kids love to just wander. They wander through stores and like looking at everything. They had fun playing in the smoke outside of the Harry Potter Train. Remember you are at the theme park to have fun. So, when we go slow it helps alleviate meltdowns. If there is a meltdown then I need to slow things down.
What other tips would you add to this list? Next up will be a review of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.